Teachers, plumbers, nurses forced to guard inmates at Mendota prison – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-05-25 04:15:37 –

Mendota, CA (KFSN) – Behind the prison wall of the Federal Correctional Facility in Mendota, staff say they are stretched thin.

As with many facilities across the country, the shortage of prison staff places dual obligations on other staff.

Aaron McGrotin, Chairman of FCI Mendota Union, deals with maintenance services.

He says that 15 to 22 staff are being transferred a day to work in prison officer posts.

“We have teachers, specialists, plumbers, general maintenance personnel… it’s the process they use across the country and they depend on it. “I didn’t make prison that safe,” he says.

Almost One-third of the work of a federal prison officer It is empty in America.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says everyone who works in the facility is a trained, certified orthodontic worker. Employees are said to expect to perform law enforcement functions once they are hired.

“By keeping so many people away from normal work, less personnel is available for emergency response,” says McGlothin.

Currently FCI Mendota has 961 prisoners and 261 staff.

And the shortage of workers can quickly become more acute.

“That’s not enough. We need more staff as the influx of these inmates from private prisons is constantly opening new housing units,” said McGlothin.

Last week, McGlothin and other employees were rounded up outside the prison, and Mendota Mayor Rolando Castro joined.

“Our taxes are on the facility and I want to make sure our employees are safe,” says Castro.

Jail jobs start at about $ 40,000 with incentives for detention, according to the union.

Mayor Castro says positions should be more competitive.

FCI Mendota hopes to host recruiting events on Wednesdays and Thursdays to provide peace of mind to current staff.

McGlothin says he looks forward to more funding from state and parliamentarians to add more prison jobs.

Action News has contacted prison officials who have not yet commented.

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